Ueno Zoo

This is Stephanie of IMS.


It’s said that Culture Day is famous for good weather, and yesterday was no different. With the sun shining and a light breeze, my friend and I headed up north on the Yamanote Line to Ueno Zoo. I’ve never been before, and my friend has never been to Japan before, so I’m really glad I was able to experience it for the first time with someone else.


As expected, Ueno Park and the zoo itself was packed to the brim with families, young children, and a few handful of other tourists. (I don’t think I’ve seen that many kids in one place since the showing of “Frozen” in a Japanese movie theater.)


Despite the crowds, however, most of the animals were easy to see, and the line for the giant pandas moved pretty quickly. Unfortunately at the time we arrived, they were both napping, so we weren’t able to see much…


It’s hard not to compare the zoo to the ones I’m used to in America, but I was astounded at how cheap it was! The entrance price was at least a third of the kind of prices I’m used to, and the food was actually reasonable while still being delicious.


We were able to walk around both halves of the park and see most of the animals, though some like the elephants and bears were already inside 30 minutes before the park closed. Even if it’s mainly for kids, I always enjoy the petting zoo—I touched a chicken! I also touched a baby goat (a different type of “kid”), and though I couldn’t pet the capybara I was still glad to see one up close.


(Of course, it’s important to wash your hands before and after touching any animals.)


It’s been a while since I’ve been able to go to a zoo, so it was nice to finally do so once again on such a lovely day. Perhaps next time, I can visit one of the other Tokyo zoos or aquariums—the one in Shinagawa looks nice!

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